Outrage has taken over America.
And it's a serious problem for our democracy.
What we're doing about it

America was once the stronghold for democracy.
Now, populism is gaining popularity—and we need to join forces to get our country back on track.

America's democracy is near a breaking point:

Less than 1/3 of younger Americans say it’s essential to live in a democracy, compared to more than 2/3 of older Americans.

Freedom House reported that “America has seen its freedoms and civil liberties decline sharply” in the past two years.

The Economist Intelligence Unit downgraded the U.S. from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy” in 2017 after public confidence in government institutions fell to historic lows.

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Why is this happening?
Any form of democracy is messy. Freedom is hard. People need to tackle issues, one by one, together. Doing so means being informed and involved—and working through differences.

In a busy and distracted world, this is difficult. It’s easy to get swept away by big promises and simple solutions. And it’s even easier to completely disengage from politics altogether—while the extreme voices take over.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Evelyn Beatrice Hall

The Friends of Voltaire


"No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
Winston S Churchill

House of Commons
November 11, 1947


At The Renew Democracy Initiative


We believe that in order to preserve our democracy for future generations, we need to change the way we learn and talk about issues in government now.

We work to empower Americans by humanizing issues, bringing together different perspectives, and revitalizing civics education.

Democracy consists of diverse voices

Our community started with a diverse group of people concerned for the state of our nation—historians, journalists, teachers, entrepreneurs, heads of state, diplomats, artists, writers—all across the political spectrum.

We disagree on many issues. We don’t marginalize. We defend democracy and the democratic process to arrive at the best solution.

Meet our team


Democracy requires discussion

Silencing one another destroys democracy—so we do the uncomfortable. We listen to a full argument before disagreeing with it. We debate vigorously. We remain humble to new learnings. And we work together to find better solutions.

Sign up for our next event


Join us for...
Real talks—one issue at a time.
 Sample Event
Paid leave
People in the room
  • A CEO of a company with generous paid leave
  • An entrepreneur who can’t afford paid leave
  • Someone who needs paid leave
  • Someone who’s been involved in past policies on paid leave

We give major issues that impact hundreds of millions of Americans the thought, space, and conversation they deserve.

And unlike many panel discussions, we bring together as many voices as possible. We’ll include teachers for issues that impact teachers, business owners for issues that impact businesses. We bring people who experience the change into the room with decision-makers who are implementing the change.

One conversation at a time, we:

1. Take one issue.
For example:
• Free trade
• Paid leave
• Buying a car
2. See what changes could be coming.

What’s the problem? What solutions are people proposing?

3. See who it affects.

Bring together different people around the country who would be impacted by that policy.

Listen to their concerns and hopes.

4. Talk. Ask questions.

Everyone asks each other questions to understand the nuances of each perspective.

5. Share.


We aim to:


Bring back intellectual humility.

Scale back absolutism.


Protect ourselves from repeating history's worst mistakes.


Debate not to win—but to develop better ideas.

Go beyond 280 characters with us.

No policy is that simple. And no one should tell you what to think. Instead, we make it easier for busy Americans to understand each issue—and see how it impacts your daily life (and the lives of your fellow Americans).

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